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Making Sure Ohio Kids Count in the 2020 Census

The census plays a critical role in determining the allocation of billions of federal dollars that promote healthy growth and development during early childhood, including $795 million at stake in the Child Care Development Fund, Head Start and Early Head Start, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The magnitude of resources at stake is increased dramatically as we consider the long-term impact of census counts on state funding over the coming decade.

Unfortunately, the undercounting of children under the age of five has been a pervasive issue in decennial censuses. An estimated 1 million young children were undercounted nationally as a result of the census conducted in 2010. In 2020, it is predicted that communities with large, young child populations are at high risk of being undercounted yet again. To make matters worse, children in low-income households, children of color and Appalachian children stand to be disproportionately undercounted, while also having the most to lose as vital programs face census-related reductions in funding.

Governor DeWine’s Ohio Census 2020 Complete Count Commission includes statewide leaders who will be working to identify strategies and networks within local communities to help ensure that everyone is counted. The commission is tasked to complete a report and develop a list of recommendations to the Office of the Governor on how Ohio can ensure the most accurate and complete count for the upcoming 2020 Census. Upon completion of their report, the commission will also provide their recommendations to the state legislature.

If you haven't already, we encourage you to reach out to members of the Commission from your community to share your concerns about the undercount of young children in Ohio. Don't know what to say? Use our template letter!


This week, the Groundwork team joined more than 200 state, national, and investor allies to share, learn, and connect at the Alliance for Early Success 2019 Partner Summit. The staff heard from speakers like Dr. Eldar Shafir and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, engaged in meaningful discussions with advocates from across the nation, and left with new knowledge and connections to help us work toward ensuring all Ohio kids have an equal chance to learn, grow, and succeed.


Join the Groundwork Team... We're Hiring!

Interested in joining our awesome team? Groundwork is seeking a full-time Policy Associate to support our statewide effort to ensure that every child has the best chance for lifelong success. Check out the full job description here.

Please submit a resume and cover letter for consideration to Additional writing sample and professional references may be requested after an initial review of the application. All applicants will get written notification via email of whether or not they will be invited to an interview.


Upcoming Event: An Equitable Start for Children

The United Way of Greater Cincinnati knows that although most children are given the same starting point in life, ultimately their lived experiences determine their opportunity to succeed. United Way Success By 6®, with partners like you, helps to bridge the gap to ensure that every child gets a stronger start to a successful future.

Join United Way on November 12 at Xavier University to:

  • Broaden your understanding of how inequities show up in early childhood with a panel featuring local and state (OH & KY) experts

  • Learn more about the future direction of United Way Success By 6® and how our work must change together to ensure an equitable start for children

  • Make connections and be inspired by the collective power of your partnership with United Way Success By 6®

Breakfast and free parking provided.

Questions? Contact

The Groundwork staff hopes to see you there!


The Administration for Children and Families Wants YOUR Input

This week, the Administration for Children and Families posted a request for information on improving access to affordable, high-quality child care in the US. We encourage you to share your experience, expertise, and knowledge of the challenges in your communities to help inform future action by ACF and work toward improving our child care system for Ohio's children and families.

Improving Access to Affordable, High-Quality Child Care As part of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) commitment to supporting working families and promoting the healthy development and well-being of children, ACF is seeking input from the public and interested stakeholders on strategies to improve access to high quality, affordable child care in the U.S. Child care is one of the biggest expenses a family faces and can be a barrier to work. The average cost of center-based infant child care in 28 states is more than college tuition. At the same time, child care settings are a place of learning and education for children from the time they are infants and toddlers through their school-age years. Access to high-quality learning opportunities lays the foundation for children’s development and, ultimately, their success in school and in life. Unfortunately, many families do not have access to the affordable, high-quality child care their children need. This Request for Information seeks public comment on:

  • Identifying emerging and innovative practices to improve access to high-quality child care

  • Identifying regulatory and other policies that unnecessarily drive up the cost of care or limit parents’ choice of different child care options

  • Identifying ways to improve funding of child care and other related early education programs to support quality and create a more streamlined, equitable, and sustainable financing framework for future generations.

Information collected through this request may be used by ACF in the development of future rulemaking and technical assistance, formation of legislative proposals and research agendas, and/or strategic planning.

Comments can be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal here by December 2, 2019.


Two Weeks Left to Apply for the Groundwork Advisory Committee

Groundwork Ohio is seeking applications for our 2020-2021 Advisory Committee. Members of the Advisory Committee are trusted to provide insights on the needs of young children and families in Ohio and advance Groundwork’s mission to champion high-quality early learning and healthy development strategies. We are committed to ensuring committee membership reflects the diversity of race, geography, gender, age, experience, expertise, and more that exists within Ohio’s child-serving systems. Members of the Groundwork Ohio Advisory Committee:

  • Provide valuable field input and expertise to help inform Groundwork’s understanding of policy implications

  • Serve as a resource for Groundwork research projects and advocacy efforts based on field and systems experience in the early childhood sector

  • Support Groundwork by promoting engagement opportunities, attending events, and facilitating connections with other child advocates

  • Participate in quarterly in-person meetings

  • Contribute organizational time and resources to Groundwork and support efforts to advance our mission.

We hope you will consider applying to serve on the Advisory Committee and share your valuable insights with our team! Applications are due by November 1, 2019.

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